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Crowther Audio

Noel Gallagher of Oasis swears by it. So do Pavement, The Melvins, Sonic Youth, along with the likes of local luminaries Chris Knox, Neil Finn, and Dave Mitchell of the 3Ds. So, what is it, exactly? It's the Hotcake. What? It's a mighty crunchy, home grown distortion effects pedal that guitarists the world over swear by. And they are as rare as hens teeth.

The hand-made HOTCAKE is considered by many to
deliver the ultimate distortion sound. Hand-made in NZ by Paul Crowther (the original drummer from Split Enz) it only has 3 knobs (Gain, Level and Presence) but that’s all it needs.

The Hotcake is designed to leave the undistorted component of the guitar sound unchanged, while providing a nice fat distortion sound without resorting to a treble cut circuit which will also affect the guitar tonality. With the Drive and Presence controls set to minimum, and the Level at around 2 o'clock, you should be hard pressed to hear any change in the sound at all when you switch the Hotcake in and out. You can get a clean volume boost by increasing the Level control. Increasing the Drive will give you a thick distortion sound with a little bit of edge to it, and the Presence control adds some mid-range punch to the sounds. The Hotcake also handles chords well. It is recommended that the Hotcake is patched between the guitar and amplifier, rather than into an amplifier's effect loop. Generally speaking, if you are happy with your guitar and amplifier combination, the Hotcake will work well as a primary distortion. It works superbly to send an already overdriven amp over the edge into smooth distortion;ideal with non-master volume valve amps.

Price $259



Prunes and Custard - Crowther Audio

prunes&custard.jpg (52232 bytes)The Prunes & Custard is a two stage circuit. There is a preamp stage , the gain of which is adjusted with the Drive control. This stage followed by a special waveshaping distortion circuit. There is some treble roll-off between the preamp and the special distortion circuit. The frequency at which this treble roll-off happens can be changed with the Guitar/Bass switch. The special distortion stage produces strong harmonic overtones, mostly odd harmonic. Higher harmonics are progressively introduced with increased Drive settings and signal level, so a decaying bass guitar note can sound like a mean swept filter. Playing double notes, like 4ths or 5ths can produce some strong intermodulation effects, rather like a ring modulator, but more musical, albeit more distorted! The Mix control is a balance between the preamp stage output, (CCW) and the special distortion stage output (CW). For bass guitar, the Mix control would usually be set at around 10 to 12 o'clock. For guitar, a high Mix setting, along with reduced Drive can give some rather pleasant overdrive effects. Where the Drive and Mix controls are set to higher settings, the sound can become all harmonics, with very little fundamental signal, and in some situations may sound a bit thin, especially for bass guitar, but setting the Lo Freq. contour switch to the right takes some low frequency from the Preamp side of the Mix control and mixes it back with the special distortion side. When used as an effect in a live mixing or recording situation, the P&C can be driven from from a spare aux send or channel direct out and returned to a spare input channel. In this situation the Mix control would be set to maximum, and there is the added flexibilty of being able to apply EQ to the distortion effect, and to use it dynamically within a mix. This is quite useful for (yet another) overdriven snare sound, and for toms. To avoid things getting too out of hand, inserting a noise gate on the return, and maybe keying it from the send signal can be a useful idea  

Price $325


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